Mosquitoes flying around

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Restaurant: Protecting Your Customers & Business

March 24, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Bed bugs don’t just make their homes in beds, houses, and hotels. Any business can end up with an infestation, including restaurants. Understanding how bed bugs get into restaurants and knowing how to spot the warning signs can allow you to take quick action. This post explains how infestations start and shares tips on how to safely get rid of bed bugs in a restaurant.

How do bed bugs get into a restaurant? 

Although bed bugs can get into a restaurant in a variety of ways, people are usually the carriers. Your employees or customers may bring bed bugs from home on their clothing or belongings. In some cases, bed bugs hide inside shipments of food and supplies or can stow away in used furniture.

bed bug shedding skin on black fabric

Where are bed bugs found in restaurants?

Restaurants can develop bed bug infestations anywhere, but certain places are more likely hideouts for these pests than others. When employees carry in bed bugs, you may find them in locker rooms and break rooms. Bed bugs transported inside by guests may lurk in dining and lounge areas.

Bed bugs generally prefer to hide in dark, tight spaces, such as:

  • Lockers
  • Couches and upholstery, arms, and joints of dining chairs
  • Crevices in dining tables
  • Carpeting and rugs
  • Behind wallpaper and wall hangings
  • Ceiling and wall junctions
  • Along baseboards and window frames
  • Around electrical outlets

Signs of bed bugs in your restaurant 

In the early stages of a bed bug infestation, you may not notice them due to their size and speed. It’s best to look for other warning signs of bed bugs, including:

  • On upholstery, black and brown spots made by smeared feces
  • On hard surfaces, dry, bead-like black and brown feces
  • Musty smell caused by chemicals bed bugs use to communicate
  • Translucent shells or casings in places where bed bugs tend to hide

bed bugs with shells, casing, and feces in the bottom of a wooden dresser draw

What’s the best way to get rid of bed bugs in a restaurant? 

A bed bug infestation can damage your restaurant’s reputation, so responding quickly to signs of their presence is critical. Call a professional pest control that has extensive experience working with restaurants and other food service businesses.

While home remedies are available for treating bed bugs, licensed professionals have the knowledge, tools, and products to best deal with infestations as quickly and safely as possible. Pest control technicians may also spot secondary infestation sites you may have missed.

After you’ve placed the call, isolate any infested items. Place them in tight-sealing plastic bags and use bed bug wrap to seal any affected furniture. Move all items to an unused area.

Communicating with your team is also important. Reassure your employees that bed bugs aren’t known to spread diseases. Train them on spotting bed bug warning signs so they can be on the lookout. Provide protective gloves and give employees time to check themselves and their belongings for bed bugs. Ask the pest control company you hire to provide tips on what employees should do to look for bed bugs and deal with them at home.

How long does bed bug treatment take? 

Bed bug treatment depends on how many infestations your restaurant has and how severe the problem is. Multiple treatments spaced three to six weeks apart may be necessary to address them fully.

Exterminator in work wear spraying pesticide with sprayer

Pest control services 

Hawx provides restaurants with effective bed bug pest control services using high-quality products and state-of-the-art technologies and tools. We understand the importance of delivering results while minimizing disruptions to your business as much as possible.

Our certified pest control professionals will develop a treatment plan specifically for your business and recommend a maintenance schedule to reduce the risk of future infestations. In addition, our technicians can provide bed bug prevention tips for you and your team and will be glad to answer any questions you have. Don’t let a bed bug infestation in your establishment get out of control—call us today for a free estimate.

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